Slow Seminar

Image: Jessie BrennanA Fall of Ordinariness and Light (The Enabling Power), 2014

Critical thinking about globalization and contemporary social life has tended to emphasize acceleration, mobility, growth, and connectivity. While still alert to such concerns, the seminar refocuses on slowness and related concepts such as deceleration, immobility, retreat, disconnection, and decay. Our aim is to explore how slowness – in its many forms and expressions – is increasingly becoming implicated in debates on environmental sustainability, urban governance, creative economies, neoliberal renewal, social activism, food justice, and technological fetishism. Can decelerated living offer an antidote to the exhausting, atomizing effects of speed? Is it possible to escape the acceleratory forces of globalization? How can velocity be used against itself to improve the spaces and communities in which we live? Addressing such questions, the seminar considers the potential of slowness to interrupt accelerated living in meaningful ways.

The seminar meets once per term between October and May and is open to faculty, graduate students, and design professionals. To participate, please contact the Slow Lab director Professor Liska Chan,

2019-2020 Academic Year

SLOW SEMINAR #10 (October 25, 11.00-13.00)

  • Title TBA – Katie Jenkins (Landscape Architecture, The Knowlton School, The Ohio State University)

2018-2019 Academic Year

SLOW SEMINAR #9 (April 19, 11.00-13.00)

  • What’s Working (and isn’t) in Social Venture Acceleration  – Saurabh Lall (Planning, Public Policy and Management)
  • Sound and Suspicion: Sculptural Space, Political Landscapes and Audio Culture – Jack Ryan (Art)

SLOW SEMINAR #8 (Nov 16, 11.00-13.00)

  • Connecting Arts and Place: Cultural Policy and American Cities – Eleonora Redaelli (Planning, Public Policy and Management)

SLOW SEMINAR #7 (Oct 19, 11.00-13.00)

  • Chinatown Invisible: Hybrid-Mapping and Making-Do – Liska Chan (Landscape Architecture)
  • Slow Writing: Librettos for “Operator, an Alphanumeric Electroluminescent Automata” and “Wanderer Spacetime Poetry” – Daniel Canty (Visiting Artist)

2017-2018 Academic Year

SLOW SEMINAR #6 (April 6, 11.00-13.00)

  • Chemical Life: John Ruskin’s Inorganic Ethics – Marrikka Trotter (Architectural History and Theory, SCI-Arc)

SLOW SEMINAR #5 (March 16, 11.00-13.00)

  • Entanglements: Studio Work in Progress and In Situ – Laura Vandenburgh (Art)

SLOW SEMINAR #4 (Feb 16, 11.00-13.00)

  • Slow Design: Drawing and Iteration as Form Finding in Landscape Architecture – Jacques Abelman (Landscape Architecture)
  • Making, Writing FLOAT: Questions on Process – Erin Moore (Architecture)

SLOW SEMINAR #3 (Jan 19, 11.00-13.00)

  • Protecting the Barrio: Gentrification, Neighborhood Resistance, and Cultural Identity – Gerardo Sandoval (Urban Planning)

SLOW SEMINAR #2 (Dec 1, 12.00-14.00)

  • Global Designs: Slow Counter-Models to Fast Fashion – Jenny Lin (Art History)
  • Slow Fast Food and the Future of Boredom – Christoph Lindner (Urban and Cultural Theory)

SLOW SEMINAR #1 (Oct 20, 12.00-14.00)

  • Temporality and Gesture: Symbolist Art & Theatre of the 1890s – Joyce Cheng (Art History)
  • Furnishing Utopia and Shaker Design Philosophy – John Arndt and Wonhee Arndt (Product Design)